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Shell and Codexis expand collaboration to explore new super enzymes for next-generation biofuels

Information released by Shell Media Office
Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The development of sustainable biofuel took a step forward today as Royal Dutch Shell plc expanded its collaboration with Codexis Inc. to develop new super enzymes to convert biomass to fuel.

The new agreement covers five years of research collaboration and includes Shell making an equity investment in Codexis and taking a seat on the company’s board. Research will focus on adapting enzymes to improve the conversion of a range of raw materials into high-performance fuels. It will assist Shell in developing the next generation of biofuels as it explores a number of non-food bio materials, new conversion processes and alternative fuel products.

Codexis scientists create super enzymes capable of outperforming naturally occurring varieties. The company has successfully applied this pioneering technology to improve manufacturing processes for leading pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Merck.  The company has worked with Shell on biofuels since November 2006 and positive early results, including achievement of milestones ahead of schedule, have led to this new agreement and the broader collaboration announced today.

“Breaking down and converting alternative, non-food bio material into high quality fuels for transport is complex”, said Dr Graeme Sweeney, Shell Executive Vice President Future Fuels and C02. “Processing efficiently at scale, in terms of both cost and C02 production, is challenging. This exciting research work into new powerful enzymes for more efficient conversion and better biofuels is part of Shell accelerating its drive to make next-generation biofuels a commercial reality.”

“Codexis’ proven biocatalytic technology provides a powerful discovery pathway for development of next generation biofuels from renewable resources”, said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., Codexis President and Chief Executive Officer.  “In the first year of our collaboration, we have demonstrated the ability to solve complex technical challenges critical to successful biofuels development and commercialization.  We look forward to continuing our work with Shell to bring clean, renewable liquid transportation fuels to the marketplace.”

Royal Dutch Shell plc is a leading global energy company whose subsidiaries employ 108,000 people and operate in more than 130 countries and territories. Shell engages in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, the refining and marketing of transportation fuels and other oil products, the production of chemicals and the development of renewable energy projects. For more information, see  

Codexis Inc., is a leading developer of clean biocatalytic process technologies that can substantially reduce the cost of manufacturing across a broad range of industries.  Codexis’ proprietary directed evolution technologies enable novel solutions for efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly processes for pharmaceutical, energy and industrial chemical applications.  In 2006, the company was recognised by the U.S. EPA with a Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award.  For more information, please visit

Shell International Media Relations
Sarah Smallhorn:  +44 (0) 20 7934 2713
Media line:  +44 (0) 20 7934 3505

Shell Media Office US
Shaun Wiggins:  +1 (713) 241-3264
Media line:  +1 (713) 241-4544

Codexis (California, US)
Lyn Christenson:  +1 650 298 5368  |  [email protected] Justin Jackson:  +1 212 213 0006  |  [email protected] and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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